I waited patiently for the Lord. (Psalm 40:1)
Waiting is much more difficult than walking, for waiting requires patience, and patience is a rare virtue. We enjoy knowing that God builds hedges around His people, when we look at the hedge from the aspect of protection. But when we see it growing higher and higher until we can no longer see over it, we wonder if we will ever get out of our little sphere of influence and service, where we feel trapped. Sometimes it is hard for us to understand why we do no have a larger area of service, and it becomes difficult for us to “brighten the corner” where we are. But God has a purpose in all of His delays. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,” so says Psalm 37:23 (KJV).
Next to this verse, in the margin of his Bible, George Mueller made this note: “And the stops too.” It is a sad mistake for someone to break through God’s hedges. It is a vital principle of the Lord’s guidance for a Christian never to move from the spot where he is sure God has placed him, until the “pillar of cloud” (Ex. 13:21) moves.
Once we learn to wait for the Lord’s leading in everything, we will know the strength that finds it’s highest point in an even steady walk. Many of us are lacking the strength we so desire, but God gives complete power for every task He calls us to perform. Waiting – keeping yourself faithful to His leading – this is the secret of strength. And anything that does not alight with obedience to Him is a waste of time and energy. Watch and wait for His leading.
Stay there until I tell you (Matthew 2:13)
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I will, dear Lord,
Though I wanted so badly to go;
I was eager to march with the “rank and file,”
Yes, I wanted to lead them, You know.
I planned to keep step to the music loud,
To cheer when the banner unfurled,
To stand in the midst of the fight straight and proud,
But I’ll stay where You’ve put me.
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I’ll work, dear Lord,
Though the field be narrow and small,
And the ground be neglected, and stones lie thick,
And there seems to be no life at all.
The field is Your own, only give me a seed,
I’ll sow it with never a fear;
I’ll till the dry soil while I wait for the rain,
And rejoice when the green blades appear;
I’ll work where You’ve put me.
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I will, dear Lord;
I’ll bear the day’s burden and heat,
Always trusting You fully; when sunset has come
I’ll lay stalks of grain at Your feet.
And then, when my earth work is ended and done,
In the light of eternity’s glow,
Life’s record all closed, I surely will find
It was better to stay than to go;
I’ll stay where You’ve put me.
O restless heart – beating against the prison bars of your circumstances and longing for a wider realm of usefulness – allow God to direct all of your days. Patience and trust, even in the midst of the monotony of your daily routine, will be the best preparation to courageously handle the stress and strains of a greater opportunity, which God may someday send.
Excerpt taken from Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings by L.B. Cowman (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing, 1997), 313-314.